Prohibited Weapons


While firearms are dealt with under specific sections of the Criminal Code, a number of other devices have been categorized as prohibited, and like a firearm, the simple possession of such an object is illegal.

There are numerous devices that fall into this category. Some include tear gas and mace, nunchuks, throwing stars, hand held crossbows, push daggers, spiked wristbands and morning stars.

There are many other devices listed in the regulations. Several types of knives are considered to be prohibited as well. These include any knife which is opened by way of a spring action (i.e. switchblade) or where the blade can be opened using centrifugal force or gravity. It does not matter whether the knife was originally designed to be opened in this fashion. If it is possible to open the blade in this fashion, whether as a result of alteration or "wear and tear", the knife is categorized as a prohibited weapon.




An object that is not normally designed or used as a weapon can be held to be one where the accused person has that object for a purpose dangerous to the public peace or for the purpose of committing an offence. Under this definition, anything can be a weapon.



The maximum penalty for the unauthorized possession of a firearm is a term of imprisonment of 6 months if the Crown proceeds by summary conviction or 5 years custody if the Crown proceeds by way of indictment. These penalties increase with the severity of the possession offence. For example, possessing a restricted or prohibited firearm has a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail, and a minimum custodial sentence of 3 or 5 years depending on whether or not the accused is a first offender.

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